Ruy Teixeira on American Politics: Is a Better Future Possible?

With American politics sharply polarized and the 2020 election coming up, which will surely just enhance that polarization, many Americans wonder whether American politics will ever improve. Is bitter conflict and unproductive governance our inescapable future? Or could we be in a transitional period to a significantly better future? This lecture will examine underlying demographic, economic and political trends, both nationally and in states like California, to examine these possibilities.

About the Speaker

Ruy Teixeira is a senior fellow at American Progress. He is also co-director of the States of Change: Demographics and Democracy project, a collaboration that brings together the Center for American Progress, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group and demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution. The goals of the project are to document and analyze the challenges to democracy posed by the rapid demographic evolution of the United States from the 1970s to the year 2060 and to promote a wide-ranging and bipartisan discussion of America’s demographic future and what it portends for political parties and the policy challenges they—and the country—face.

His most recent book is The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think. His other books include The Emerging Democratic MajorityAmerica’s Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still MattersThe Disappearing American Voter; and Red, Blue, and Purple America: The Future of Election Demographics.

Teixeira’s book The Emerging Democratic Majority, written with John Judis in 2002, was the most widely discussed political book of that year and generated praise across the political spectrum, from George Will on the right to E.J. Dionne on the left. It was selected as one of the best books of the year by The Economist.

Teixeira’s most recent writing for American Progress is “The Path to 270 in 2020” with John Halpin. In 2017-18, he wrote a series of articles on Medium with Peter Leyden on the theme “California Is the Future”. A complete list of Teixeira’s recent publications can be found on his website, The Optimistic Leftist, where he also blogs regularly.

Teixeira holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About the Conservative Thought & Policy American National Character Project

The Benson Center promotes critical reflection on the distinctive traditions and political perspectives that characterize Western civilization. It encourages residents of Colorado and the United States to more fully understand and appreciate their past, their future and a free and creative American society within an international environment. Conservative Thought and Policy Guest Speakers bring a unique perspective as guests of the Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy program. This year’s series, the “American National Character Project” expands on the Benson Center’s 2019-20 theme, American Identities.

The Founding generation recognized the importance of cultivating a national character, by which they meant the formation of “a people” dedicated to the principles of the American Revolution and the great experiment in self-government. Today, Americans are fragmented, disunited and unclear about what, if anything, they hold in common. The American National Character Project seeks to explore and identify principles and purposes that Americans do or might in the future share, and to discover how to provide a way forward for republican self-governance in America.


Monday, February 3, 2020 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Hale Science, 230
1350 Pleasant Drive, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type



Law & Politics

College, School & Unit

Arts & Sciences



Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization
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